Portland NORML News - Wednesday, April 29, 1998
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Turning The Other Cheek ('Willamette Week'
Notes There Are Nearly 250 Caseworkers In The Portland Area
Empowered And Obligated To Remove Children From The Homes
Of Cannabis Consumers, And At Least Nine Of Them Have Criminal Convictions
For Theft, Assault, Drunken Driving, Unlawful Possession Of A Weapon,
Criminal Trespass, And Domestic Violence)
Link to earlier story
Willamette Week
822 SW 10th Ave.
Portland, OR 97205
Tel. (503) 243-2122
Fax (503) 243-1115
Letters to the Editor:
Mark Zusman - mzusman@wweek.com
Web: http://www.wweek.com/

Turning the Other Cheek

* Why did the state hire someone with a history of crime and domestic
violence to help protect children?

BY MAUREEN O'HAGAN
mohagan@wweek.com

Context:

There are nearly 250 SCF caseworkers in the Portland area.

WW discovered eight other Portland-area SCF caseworkers who had either
criminal convictions or domestic violence issues, although no one had a
history as extensive as Briden's. The other workers' convictions include
theft, assault, drunken driving, unlawful possession of a weapon and
criminal trespass.

***

Since 1994, Southeast Portland resident Joseph Briden has made
life-and-death decisions about the fate of Oregon's most defenseless
residents. As a caseworker for the state office of Services for Children and
Families, he's counseled parents, placed kids in foster care and helped
decide when a home is safe enough for a child to return.

Last year, the 43-year-old caseworker took a new role at the agency: He
became a client. In January 1997, the state took legal custody of Briden's
11-year-old son, who had been living with the boy's mother. About six months
later, the state allowed the boy to live with Briden, but didn't relinquish
its legal jurisdiction over him until last month.

It may be a leap to argue that Briden is an unfit parent and therefore an
unfit SCF caseworker. But a review of Briden's history does raise the
question of why he got hired by SCF in the first place. He has several
criminal convictions on his record, he has a history of alcohol abuse and he
has faced accusations of domestic violence both before and after being hired
as a child protective worker.

Briden's criminal record goes back at least two decades.

Between 1978 and 1983, Briden has been charged with driving under the
influence of intoxicants, driving with a suspended license, fourth-degree
assault and theft, among other things. According to the state Department of
Corrections, he spent time in prison for his driving violations. During one
of his incarcerations, Briden left jail on a temporary "pass" but did not
return; he was later charged with escape. While he was AWOL, Briden was
charged with attempted rape.

According to a police report, Briden had been drinking with a friend at the
Arlington Hotel in downtown Portland on Jan. 18, 1981. At the time, a woman
Briden did not know was taking a bath in the ladies' restroom, which was in
the hall of the residential hotel. (The hotel rooms did not have private
bathrooms.) Briden entered the bathroom and accosted the woman, trying to
pull her from the tub. "[The suspect] started grabbing [the woman's] breasts
and started choking her and yelling at her to 'shut up,'" the Portland
police officer wrote. "[The woman] kept screaming and [suspect] said 'you
know what I want'...[The woman] says that this went on for a good 10 minutes
before [suspect] finally left the bathroom."

Briden did not deny to officers that he was in the women's bathroom or that
he grabbed the woman. According to the report, he told them, "I was just
lookin' at her. You know...having some fun." But he denies that he wanted to
have sex with her. "Mr. Briden indicated to Detective Lind that if he was
going to rape the victim he would have," the report said. After a jury
trial, he was found not guilty of the charge.

Ann Niederehe, the personnel director for SCF, says the agency does a
criminal background check on all potential employees, but Briden's past
would not automatically disqualify him. Niederehe, who has ultimate
responsibility for all hires, says she makes her decisions on a case-by-case
basis by looking at how long it has been since the crimes were committed,
the nature of the crime and other factors. "An earlier conviction does not
necessarily preclude someone from employment," she says. "If we or any
employer demanded 100 percent records that had no indication of ever having
any criminal history, there would be a lot more people who wouldn't be
employed."

Niederehe's decision to hire Briden despite his criminal history relates, in
part, to the fact that he worked hard to improve his life, even earning a
master's degree in social work from Portland State University a few years
ago. She also notes that his most recent conviction was more than a decade ago.

But allegations of domestic violence have been made much more recently.

In 1992 court papers related to their divorce, his ex-wife Claria Pinnecoose
claimed he "treated her cruelly, causing her great marital distress [and]
bodily injury."

In 1995 a girlfriend, Ronis Belgarde, persuaded a judge to issue a
restraining order against Briden because of physical abuse. "He has
threatened suicide on several occasions," the court order says. Belgarde
told the court that Briden hurt her several times, by choking her, pushing
her and throwing things at her. The restraining order was served in January
1996, while Briden was a temporary SCF employee. Nine months later, the
agency hired him as a permanent full-time caseworker.

In 1997, Karen Terrebonne, Briden's second wife, obtained a restraining
order against him related to several incidents in 1996. According to the
court order, he "restrained me from leaving, grabbed my neck, sat on me with
his knees on my shoulders, bruised my jawbone, throat and wrists, threaten
to cigarette burn and beat my face."

A good part of Briden's job requires him to deal with domestic-violence
issues. Out in the field, for example, he must assess whether a father is
abusing his wife and whether that puts the children in danger. Niederehe
concedes that caseworkers who are personally involved with domestic
violence, whether as victims or perpetrators, could have a difficult time
doing their job properly.

Yet Niederehe says that a history of domestic violence does not preclude
someone from being hired as a caseworker.

Even more troubling, Niederehe says that even if caseworkers' behavior at
home is egregious, it's next to impossible to fire them. She says union
contracts and case law have consistently supported employees. "We need to
[see] whether there is any connection between that [behavior at home] and
the person's job with the agency," she told WW.

To state Sen. Kate Brown, a lawyer who until recently specialized in
child-abuse cases, that's outrageous. "I'm extremely concerned that the
agency would continue to employ caseworkers who have ongoing
domestic-violence issues to work in child protective services," she told WW.

Briden's domestic problems spilled into the workplace last year, when the
agency took legal custody of his son. State public records laws protect the
information contained in child-dependency cases, so the details of Briden's
parenting problems are sketchy. From public documents, WW was able to piece
together this much:

In January 1997, Briden's 12-year-old son was living with his mother,
Christine Kennerly. She told SCF that the boy physically abused her. Under
normal circumstances, according to Paul Drews, the Portland-area regional
manager for SCF, the agency would consider a non-custodial parent like
Briden a "resource." In this case, however, SCF--for reasons that are not
clear--determined that it was not appropriate to place the boy with Briden.
It took a year for SCF to terminate its jurisdiction over the case. At a
March 1998 hearing, Deputy District Attorney Amy Holmes Hehn told the court
that she supports Briden getting custody of the boy, but she still has
concerns. "My worry is Mr. Briden hasn't followed through on anything he's
been asked to do," she said.

According to court testimony, the family's situation has improved, although
Briden had not followed through on the plan he had agreed upon with his
caseworker, and witnesses testified that he still has problems controlling
his anger.

"We're not in an ideal perfect point in time, but that's the way it is,"
caseworker Chuck Warren told the court.

Drews says that although he supervises the SCF office where Briden works, he
didn't know the details of Briden's own SCF case or of his criminal history
until WW's phone calls. "I'm concerned," he says.

Originally published: Willamette Week - April 29, 1998
-------------------------------------------------------------------

US School Is A Vital Tool (Letter To The Editor Of 'Willamette Week'
From The Public Affairs Officer For The School Of The Americas
Criticizes The Portland Weekly For Making A 'Hero' Of A Protestor
Imprisoned For Interfering With The Military School's Mission
Of 'Providing Counter-Drug Operations Training, Our Primary Focus Now')

Willamette Week
822 SW 10th Ave.
Portland, OR 97205
Tel. (503) 243-2122
Fax (503) 243-1115
Letters to the Editor:
Mark Zusman - mzusman@wweek.com
Web: http://www.wweek.com/

Letters
(4/29/98)

U.S. SCHOOL IS A VITAL TOOL

I just read Patty Wentz's article on Christopher Jones and the U.S. Army
School of the Americas ["Student Deferral," March 25, 1998] and felt I
should respond. Your feature portrays Jones as a grassroots hero, which is
far from the truth. Mr. Jones violated federal law, was arrested, charged,
convicted and sentenced by the federal court. He was well within his right
as a citizen of the United States to voice his opinion, but not on federal
property. As for the U.S. Army School of the Americas, it is a vital tool in
the implementation of U.S. foreign policy and in meeting the U.S. security
objectives in the hemisphere. Additionally, the school is responsible for
providing counter-drug operations training, our primary focus now, and a
mission which is helping to impede the flow of narcotics into our nation.
The school is helping to make our streets safer for our families and our
friends. This training also includes mandatory human rights instruction in
each and every course--extremely important in professionaling militaries
around the world. In closing, I would like to say that I had hoped that your
article would have granted equal coverage to both sides of the issue, but it
sadly did not. As a former student of journalism, and as a public relations
practioner, I thought that a middle-of-the-road approach was the norm, not
the exception. I would like to invite your staff to visit the school in the
near future and see for yourself the truth about this institution. I'm sure
your readers would also appreciate the fact that you would cover both sides
of the issue.

Capt. Kevin McIver, Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Army School of the Americas
-------------------------------------------------------------------

State Again Asks Court To Shut Down Cannabis Club ('San Francisco Examiner'
Says California Attorney General Dan Lungren Asked Superior Court Judge
William Cahill Tuesday For A Temporary Restraining Order
Against The San Francisco Cannabis Healing Center, Dennis Peron's Former Club
Now Run By 79-Year-Old Hazel Rodgers)

Date: Wed, 29 Apr 1998 18:20:21 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Melodi Cornett 
Subject: MN: US CA: State Again Asks Court To Shut Down Cannabis Club
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: Wed, 29 Apr 1998
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Contact: letters@examiner.com
Website: http://www.examiner.com/
Author: Eric Brazil

STATE AGAIN ASKS COURT TO SHUT DOWN CANNABIS CLUB

Attorney general's office contends renaming is fig leaf

The state of California is renewing its 2-year-old battle to close San
Francisco's biggest marijuana dispensary, but the Cannabis Healing Center --
formerly the Cannabis Cultivators Club -- keeps dodging bullets.

Tuesday, the attorney general's office went to court seeking a temporary
restraining order to remove the club's director and her property -- which
would presumably include a large amount of marijuana -- and close the
operation down.

Superior Court Judge William Cahill, picked to hear the case after two other
judges were disqualified, one by each side, said he'd think about
restraining conduct at the center that offends its neighbors. But he
indicated that the issue of shutting down the 1444 Market St. operation
could best be handled at a full-fledged injunction hearing June 5.

Senior Assistant Attorney General John Gordnier argued that the Cannabis
Healing Center was "a drug house," that its director Hazel Rodgers was "no
different than any other drug dealer" and that it was an illegal operation
that should be shut down.

Defense attorney J. David Nick countered that the center was legal under
Proposition 215 as a primary caregiver dispensing medical marijuana to
desperately ill patients.

To comply with a court order, Dennis Peron, founder of the center, formally
quit as its director April 17 and handed the leadership to Rodgers.

Gordnier said the 79-year-old Rodgers, who suffers from glaucoma and
occasionally uses marijuana, was "nothing more than a straw person acting on
Mr. Peron's behalf."

Gordnier also presented an affidavit from Victor Zachariah, 93, who controls
the Zachariah Family Trust, which owns the building occupied by the cannabis
club. In his affidavit, Zachariah said he wanted the club shut down.

"I do not wish to have my property used for selling, serving, growing or
cultivating marijuana or any other illegal drug," Zachariah said. "I do not
wish to continue renting the premises to him (Peron)."

Gordnier also presented several affidavits from the center's neighbors, who
labeled the club and the crowds of marijuana users who congregate in front
of it daily a public nuisance.

Nick said the club would not oppose any restraining order requiring it to
maintain an outside atmosphere that won't offend neighbors. Cahill indicated
he would probably issue the limited order.

(c)1998 San Francisco Examiner
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Judge To Decide Fate Of New Pot Club Today
('San Francisco Chronicle' Version)

Date: Wed, 29 Apr 1998 11:41:50 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Melodi Cornett 
Subject: MN: US CA: Judge to Decide Fate Of New Pot Club Today
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: Wed, 29 Apr 1998
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Author: Jaxon Van Derbeken

JUDGE TO DECIDE FATE OF NEW POT CLUB TODAY

Superior Court Judge William Cahill is expected to decide today whether to
close San Francisco's Cannabis Healing Center, the latest incarnation of the
medical marijuana club shut down earlier this month by court order.

Attorney General Dan Lungren is asking for a temporary restraining order
against the center, contending that it is merely a sham to thwart a
court-ordered closure of the Cannabis Cultivators Club.

In court yesterday, Cahill heard conflicting arguments that the new center
is either an illegal ``drug house'' or a legal operation providing care to
people in need of medicinal marijuana.

J. David Nick, the center's attorney, said its current operator, Hazel
Rodgers, is a legally authorized ``caregiver'' to 300 to 500 patients a day
who rely on the medically authorized use of the drug for their illnesses.

The Cannabis Healing Center occupies the same storefront that the now-closed
Cannabis Cultivators Club did. The 79-year-old Rodgers began operating the
center the day after club founder Dennis Peron closed the club on April 20.
Both Rodgers and Peron were on the Cannabis Cultivators Club lease at the
time that it was closed.

Nick said Rodgers gives individualized care to those ``suffering from the
most ghastly type of diseases possible.''

John Gordnier, the senior assistant attorney general who argued the case,
told the court that Rodgers was ``nothing more than a straw person acting on
Mr. Peron's behalf'' to get around the court-ordered closure.

Gordnier said that the center is ``in egregious violation of the law'' and
that Rodgers cannot provide individualized care to the thousands of people
who come to the center. He said such individualized care is required to be
in compliance with the law.

Cahill said he intends to at least curb what goes on outside the center,
given complaints by neighboring businesses of dealings out front.

``Whatever the courts wants done, we are willing to do,'' Nick said.

Meanwhile, the center's landlord served a 30-day eviction notice against the
Market Street operation, saying he does not want his property used to
distribute marijuana.

The landlord had leased the location to the Cannabis Cultivators Club but
now says he is seeking to evict the new center to avoid further legal
complications.

``I don't want them out, but that's the way it has to be,'' said 93-year-old
Victor Zachariah. ``I don't want any legal problems. I don't want any
trouble at all.''

In court papers, Zachariah said he fears retaliation for his decision to
evict the center. He said he does not want his property used for ``selling,
serving, giving away, cultivating marijuana, or any other illegal drugs.''

(c)1998 San Francisco Chronicle
-------------------------------------------------------------------

San Francisco Cannabis Center Faces New Crisis
('San Jose Mercury News' Version)

Date: Thu, 30 Apr 1998 01:45:04 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Melodi Cornett 
Subject: MN: S.F. Cannabis Center Faces New Crisis
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Pubdate: Wed, 29 Apr 1998
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/

S.F. CANNABIS CENTER FACES NEW CRISIS

Medicinal pot: Attorney general's spokesman says the reopened club is
`continuing . . . an outlaw operation.'

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters)-- The San Francisco medicinal marijuana club that
earlier this month sidestepped an order to shut down faced new legal
problems Tuesday as a judge considered whether to hit it with a fresh
restraining order.

Superior Court Judge William Cahill said he will rule today on whether the
San Francisco Cannabis Healing Center, now headed by 79-year-old Hazel
Rodgers, will have to cease operations.

State Attorney General Dan Lungren asked for the temporary restraining order
after the club circumvented an earlier order to close by shutting its doors
for a day and then reopening under a different name.

``It is continuing the legacy of an outlaw operation,'' said Rob Stutzman, a
Lungren spokesman. ``Just because they changed the name on the door doesn't
change the fact that they are violating California law.''

Rodgers, who uses marijuana to treat her glaucoma, was named to head the new
organization, replacing longtime chief Dennis Peron, who has been engaged in
a long struggle with Lungren over interpretation of California's 1996 law
legalizing the medicinal use of marijuana.

The law, approved by 56 percent of the state's voters, allows marijuana to
be used on a doctor's advice for treating the symptoms of AIDS, cancer and
other serious diseases.

But state and federal authorities have raised legal objections to the clubs
that distribute the drug.

Earlier this month, Judge David Garcia ordered Peron to close his Cannabis
Cultivators Club after he determined that the organization was selling
marijuana to healthy caregivers rather than to the patients themselves.

Peron agreed to close but arranged for the new Healing Center to take over
in the same premises the following day, with Rodgers at the helm, at least
on paper.

``It is going to be a tragedy for some people,'' Rodgers said of official
efforts to close the club. ``They use marijuana to help stay alive.''

California courts have already ruled that primary caregivers are covered by
the rules and regulations of Proposition 215. The Santa Clara County
Medical Cannabis Center and several of the state's other 20-odd medicinal
marijuana dispensaries have been unaffected by those rulings.

The Justice Department has also taken the clubs before a federal judge,
demanding that they be closed for violation of federal drug laws.

But the clubs have won strong support from local officials, who say the
federal government should respect the will of California's voters and allow
local governments time to develop a system to monitor club operations.

San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and city District Attorney Terence Hallinan
have been particularly strong supporters, going as far as to suggest the
city itself could step in to supply marijuana to patients if the clubs are
forced to close.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Legal Victory For San Francisco Marijuana Club ('Reuters'
Says San Francisco's Main Medical Marijuana Club
Scored An Unexpected Legal Victory Wednesday
When Superior Court Judge William Cahill Refused California Attorney
General Dan Lungren's Request For An Immediate Injunction To Close It Down)

Date: Thu, 30 Apr 1998 10:36:58 -0700 (PDT)
From: Ben 
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: MN: US CA: Wire: Legal Victory For San Francisco Marijuana Club (fwd)
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

Newshawk: David Hadorn and Frank S. World
Source: Reuters
Pubdate: Wednesday, 29 Apr 1998

LEGAL VICTORY FOR SAN FRANCISCO MARIJUANA CLUB

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - San Francisco's main medical marijuana club
scored an unexpected legal victory Wednesday when a judge refused
California Attorney General Dan Lungren's demand for a legal order to close
it down.

Superior Court Judge William Cahill said there was not enough evidence to
warrant a restraining order against the club, the main source of marijuana
for some 9,000 people suffering from AIDS, cancer and other diseases.

Cahill, who heard lawyers for both sides Tuesday, then scheduled a fresh
hearing on the issue for early June.

The decision was hailed by medical marijuana supporters, who have fought to
keep the club operating despite repeated efforts by both state and federal
officials to close it.

"I'm delighted," said Hazel Rodgers, the 79-year-old who now heads the club.

"It will give us some breathing room and allow us to stay open for a month
and allow us to serve our thousands of sick and dying patients."

Officials in Lungren's office, meanwhile, vowed to continue their efforts
to run the club out of business.

"The judge says he needs more evidence, we'll be happy to go and get it,"
said Lungren spokesman Rob Stutzman.

"All we have to establish is that they are selling marijuana, which means
they will be breaking the law."

The battle over the San Francisco Cannabis Healing Center marks the latest
skirmish over interpretations of California's 1996 law which legalized the
medical use of marijuana if prescribed by a doctor.

Lungren says the club has overstepped the limits of the law and has become
a "drug house" selling pot to the public at large.

This month he obtained a court order shutting down the club's predecessor
-- the San Francisco Cannabis Cultivators Club -- but the organization
opened again the next day with a new name on the door.

Club founder and long-time medical marijuana proponent Denis Peron also
stepped aside, handing the reins to Rodgers, a grandmother who uses
marijuana to treat her glaucoma.

Dismissed by Lungren's office as a "straw person" fronting for Peron,
Rodgers is proving to be a sympathetic figure.

"Our patients, and there must be 9,000 of them, if they don't have this
place for them to get legal medical marijuana they'll have to become
criminals, or at least take chances and do it out on the street," she said
after Cahill's ruling.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Capitol Rally Opposes Marijuana Ballot Issue ('Rocky Mountain News'
Says Former US Drug Czar Bill Bennett Led The Rally
At The Colorado Capitol Tuesday In Opposition To A November Ballot Proposal
And Said Pot Has No Medical Benefits)

Date: Wed, 29 Apr 1998 15:28:36 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US CO: Capitol Rally Opposes Marijuana Ballot Issue
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: GDaurer 
Pubdate: Wed, 29 Apr 1998
Source: Rocky Mountain News (CO)
Contact: letters@denver-rmn.com
Website: http://insidedenver.com/news/
Author: John Sanko Rocky Mountain News Capitol Bureau

CAPITOL RALLY OPPOSES MARIJUANA BALLOT ISSUE

Ex-Drug Czar Bennett Joins Protest, Says Pot Has No Medical Benefits

Former U.S. drug czar Bill Bennett led a rally Tuesday to urge opposition
to a November ballot proposal to legalize marijuana for "debilitating
medical conditions."

Joined at the Capitol by law officers, prosecutors and legislators, Bennett
argued that the measure was nothing more than a foot in the door to
legalize marijuana.

"Although it's couched in terms of medical use, the eventual result will be
increased drug use," said Bennett, whose comments on the Statehouse steps
came only minutes after the Senate voted 29-3 for a resolution opposing
"any effort to mandate in the Constitution of Colorado that marijuana be
described as medicine."

But opposition from the Senate and other opponents won't stop the measure
from getting on the ballot, if Coloradoans for Medical Rights gets enough
petition signatures to the Secretary of State's office.

Group members Marty Chilcutt and Dr. Marshall Stiles III have taken steps
for a ballot measure but have not collected the more than 55,000 signatures
needed.

The proposal -- which has also been criticized by those who want more
broad-range uses of marijuana -- limits how much marijuana a person can
possess and requires that a patient meet all criteria, including a
physician's authorization.

It could be used for conditions such as cancer, glaucoma, AIDS and other
illnesses if a doctor declares it might benefit the patient.

"I know some of the political people are opposed to it," Chilcutt said.
"They need to talk to the patients -- the people that are using it
medically. I've talked to patients with epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and
cancer."

Rally participants included State Treasurer Bill Owens and businessman
Terry Walker, both Republican candidates for governor; District Attorneys
Bill Ritter of Denver and Bob Grant of Arapahoe County; Arapahoe County
Sheriff Pat Sullivan; House majority leader Norma Anderson, R-Lakewood; and
Senate majority leader Jeff Wells, R-Colorado Springs.

"Just say no to those petition pushers," Owens said. "We don't want to
follow California's lead in legalizing pot."

Bennett said marijuana "has never been scientifically demonstrated to
provide medical relief from any medical condition -- at the very least no
more relief than other licensed drugs that are much less prone to abuse."

***

NOTE: An accompanying photo shows 10-year-old Kathleen Paulsen holding a
sign that says "Pot is not medicine." Not mentioned in the caption: Paulsen
is the daughter of Chris Paulsen, a former legislator who is serving as a
political consultant to the opposition campaign.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Appalachia's Marijuana Belt - Biggest Cash Crop In 65 Counties
('Associated Press' Article In 'Washington Post' Says 65 Counties
In Kentucky, West Virginia, And Tennessee - Three Of The Five States
That Comprise The 'Marijuana Belt' - The Region That Produces 90 Percent
Of The Nation's Domestically Grown Marijuana - Were Designated
A High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, With $6 Million Earmarked
To Combat Marijuana Growth - Appalachia Is The 20th Region
To Be Designated A High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area
Since The Program's 1990 Inception)

-- Forwarded message --
Date: Wed, 6 May 1998 23:47:00 -0700 (PDT)
From: Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Reply-To: fnb-l@tao.ca
To: fnb-l@tao.ca, gathering@cygnus.com
Subject: Appalachia's Marijuana Belt: biggest cash crop in 65 counties

http://search.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WAPO/19980429/V000095-042998-idx.html
PROGRAM COMBATS MARIJUANA INDUSTRY

By Kaja Perina
Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, April 29, 1998; 5:46 p.m. EDT

WASHINGTON (AP)-- Marijuana production and distribution in Appalachia is so
rampant that members of Congress declared 65 counties in Kentucky, West
Virginia, and Tennessee a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, earmarking
6 million dollars to combat marijuana growth in the region.

White House Drug Policy Director Barry R. McCaffrey joined Sen. Wendell
Ford, D-Ky., and Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., Wednesday in announcing the
creation of the Appalachia area, where task forces of state and federal
officials will implement a variety of anti-drug programs.

``If we're going to get serious about winning the war on drugs, it's going
to take an innovative, focused effort from all segments of our law
enforcement and governmental agencies,'' Ford said Wednesday.

Kentucky, West Virginia and Tennessee are three of the five states that
comprise the ``Marijuana Belt'' -- the region that produces 90 percent of
the nation's domestically grown marijuana.

Rural poverty and an optimal climate make marijuana Appalachia's biggest
cash crop. The region is also a hub for interstate drug trafficking.

Appalachia is the 20th region to be designated a High Intensity Drug
Trafficking Area since the program's 1990 inception. The newest area will
have headquarters in London, Ky., with operation centers in each of the
three states.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

House Votes To Bar Federal Funds For Needle Exchange (ACLU News
Says The US House Of Representatives Voted 287-140 Today To Bar Federal Funds
For Needle Exchange Programs, Nine Days After President Clinton
Also Ignored The Advice Of Scientists And His Own Department
Of Health And Human Services)

Subject: CanPat - ACLU News 04-30-98: Needle Exchange, Family Planning, More!
From: terry.s@juno.com (Terry Smith)
Date: Fri, 01 May 1998 17:24:32 EDT
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com
-- Begin forwarded message --
From: ACLU Newsfeed Owner (owner-aclu-news@aclu.org)
To: news@aclu.org
Subject: ACLU News 04-30-98: Needle Exchange, Family Planning, More!
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 1998 22:35:45 -0400 (EDT)

***

04-30-98
ACLU Newsfeed -- ACLU News Direct to YOU!

***

IN THE ACLU NEWSROOM

**The Latest News Can Always Be Found At:**
http://www.aclu.org/news/pressind.html

***

House Votes to Bar Fed'l Funds for Needle Exchange

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 29, 1998

WASHINGTON -- Joining with the Clinton Administration in rejecting
strong and convincing scientific evidence, the House of Representatives
today voted to bar federal funds for needle exchange programs that help
fight the spread of AIDS.

Today's 287-to-140 vote in the House came nine days after President
Clinton ignored advice from scientists and his own Department of Health
and Human Services and rejected federal funding of needle exchange
programs.

"We could dramatically stem the spread of HIV today by funding needle
exchange programs," said Christopher Anders, an ACLU Legislative
Counsel. "But instead of saving lives, Congress and the Administration
are playing politics and grandstanding on drugs."

The measure approved by the House today was introduced by Rep. Gerald
Solomon, R-NY. If adopted by the Senate, it would repeal a provision of
an appropriations bill -- approved only five months ago -- that would
allow federal funding if the administration determines that needle
exchange programs are effective in preventing the spread of HIV, the
virus that causes AIDS.

Needle exchange programs give drug addicts clean hypodermic needles in
exchange for their used ones. Scientific studies have shown that the
sharing of unclean needles accounts for more than one-third of AIDS
cases among adults nationwide.

At least seven federally funded scientific studies have concluded that
needle-exchange programs work in preventing the spread of HIV without
increasing drug use. And over the last decade, needle exchange programs
have increased in popularity; today there are more than 100 programs in
approximately 20 states.

Federal officials have estimated that each day, 33 people are infected
with the AIDS virus as a result of intravenous drug use, a figure that
includes drug abusers, their partners and their children. Intravenous
drug use is also responsible for most of the growth in the spread of
AIDS, particularly among the poor and minorities. Surgeon General David
Satcher recently told reporters that 40 percent of new AIDS infections
in the United States are either directly or indirectly attributable to
infection with contaminated needles; among women and children, the
figure is 75 percent.

"The numbers are as incontrovertible as the lack of political courage,"
Anders said. "The House of Representatives and the White House are
ensuring that hundreds of thousands of Americans will unnecessarily face
infection with HIV."

** Headlines of Recent Articles on the ACLU NewsWire **
http://www.aclu.org/news/newsclip.html

ACLU Newsfeed
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125 Broad Street
New York, New York 10004

To subscribe to the ACLU Newsfeed, send a message to majordomo@aclu.org
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-------------------------------------------------------------------

'Drug Crazy' - Important New Book Needs Your Support This Month
(Drug Reform Coordination Network Asks You To Help Mike Gray's New Book
Reach A Wider Audience)

Date: Wed, 29 Apr 1998 16:06:42 EDT
Originator: drc-natl@drcnet.org
Sender: drc-natl@drcnet.org
From: DRCNet (manager@drcnet.org)
To: Multiple recipients of list (drc-natl@drcnet.org)
Subject: DRUG CRAZY: Important New Book Needs Your Support This Month

***

Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
Rapid Response Team

***

(To sign off this list, mailto:listproc@drcnet.org with the
line "signoff drc-natl" in the body of the message, or
mailto:drcnet@drcnet.org for assistance. To subscribe to
this list, visit http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html.)

-- please copy and distribute --

DRCNet is pleased to inform you of the imminent publication
of "DRUG CRAZY: HOW WE GOT INTO THIS MESS AND HOW WE CAN GET
OUT". Drug Crazy has been published by Random House, and
should be in your local bookstore any week now. Drug Crazy
was written by DRCNet advisor Mike Gray, a well known author
whose credits include the screenplay from the hit movie "The
China Syndrome", as well as the award-winning documentaries
"American Revolution II" and "The Murder of Fred Hampton".
The staff of DRCNet all feel that Drug Crazy is one of the
best, most exciting, readable, action-packed books about the
drug war and the need for reform ever written. Adding to
our excitement is the fact that DRCNet is lauded and
prominently featured in the book's appendix, followed by an
extensive Internet directory to the movement and other drug
policy resources.

If Drug Crazy goes big, it will do a lot for the issue,
DRCNet, and the movement as a whole. We are writing to ask
you to take a moment today or tomorrow to make one or a few
brief phone calls to help make that happen. Please call
your local Border's, Barnes & Noble, Crown, independent and
other bookstores, ask them if they have Drug Crazy from
Random House, and say thank you. It's that simple -- you
don't even have to order the book (though you may as well,
because it's worth it).

Your inquiries will help make the stores and the publisher
take note, ensuring that Drug Crazy gets prominently
displayed in bookstores when Mike embarks on his nationwide
book tour this June. With medical marijuana initiatives
coming up in several states, and the Republicans promising
to make drugs a major campaign issue, the timing couldn't be
better. Help us break the information blackout and turn the
tide against the drug war this year.


David Borden
Executive Director

Adam J. Smith
Associate Director

***

Following are the endorsements and book jacket text:

"This is an insightful book about the discriminatory nature
of the drug war in America and how our politicians have
converted a chronic medical problem into a criminal justice
problem. It also explains how the increase in petty drug
busts has been used to make politicians look tough on crime,
build jail cells and deny funding for drug prevention and
education programs for children."
- Dr. Joycelyn Elders
Former U.S. Surgeon General

"Never did I think one could learn so much about the drug
crisis all in one place. Mike Gray has written a book of
profound compassion that nevertheless deals intelligently
with the facts. Drug Crazy is an antidote for passivity."
- Daniel Schorr

"This book sheds real light on what is happening in American
cities today and how current drug control strategies
undermine our efforts to keep our kids and streets safe.
Anyone who is serious about finding solutions to drug-
related problems should read this book, debate it with their
colleagues and demand real solutions from their elected
leaders."
- Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke
City of Baltimore

"This book tells the public what many front line police
officers know from their experience - the drug war needs
radical re-evaluation."
- Joseph McNamara
The Hoover Institution
Former Police Chief, San Jose, Califonia

"This urgent issue badly needs the exposure given in this
book - a chilling array of facts which hopefully will move
the country."
- Henry Kendall, Nobel Laureate
Chairman, Union of Concerned Scientists

"I learned an enormous amount about the underside of drug
politics from reading Drug Crazy. It is an eye-opener. The
book raises controversial but reasoned suggestions for
rethinking drug policy in the United States. I highly
recommend this book to everyone concerned about developing
an effective strategy toward drug abuse."
- Alvin F. Poussaint, MD
Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Six years in the making, Drug Crazy offers a gripping
account of the stunning violence, corruption, and chaos that
have characterized America's drug war since its inception in
1914. Weaving a provocative analogy between the drug scene
today and the failure of alcohol Prohibition in the 1920's,
Drug Crazy argues that the greatest danger we face is
prohibition itself.

While the target of our nation's controlled substance laws
may have shifted from hooch to heroin, the impact on society
-discriminatory policing, demonization of the users, graft
and grandstanding among law makers and law breakers - is an
instant replay. Instead of Al Capone, we have Larry Hoover
of Chicago's Gangster Disciples running a multi-million
dollar drug syndicate out of his prison cell in Joliet.

In a riveting account of how we got here, conventional
wisdom is turned on its head and we find that, rather than a
planned assault on the scourge of addiction, the drug war
happened almost by accident, like a trunk tumbling
downstairs, kicked along by political opportunists.

From the explosive opening montage of undercover cops caught
in a shoot-out on Chicago's south side to a humid courtroom
in Malaysia where a young American faces death by hanging
for possession of marijuana, Drug Crazy takes us to the
front lines of the war on drugs and introduces us to a cast
of villains and heroes, profiteers and victims. Among them:

Pauline Morton Sabin, a Republican aristocrat who
administered the coup de grace to Prohibition by leading a
million women into the arms of the Democrats.

Harry Anslinger, a former railroad cop who guided the Bureau
of Narcotics through five administrations and engineered
some of the most enduring and pernicious myths of the drug
war.

Pablo Escobar Gaviria, the Colombian kingpin who nailed a
suspected informer with a bomb-killing him along with a
hundred innocent airline passengers.

From the men and women in the forward trenches, Drug Crazy
brings back a grim report: the situation is deteriorating on
all fronts. In a sobering tally of the cost in crime, human
suffering, and cold, hard cash, it documents the failure of
crop eradication in the source countries, the hopeless task
of sealing the border, and the violent world of the major
players. We see the steady erosion of the Bill of Rights
and a grinding criminal justice mill so overwhelmed it's
running a night shift.

We also get a glimpse of a way out of this swamp. Lessons
from Europe-and from our own experience-are pointing us
toward higher ground.

In Drug Crazy, Mike Gray has launched a frontal assault on
America's drug war orthodoxy, and his frightening overview
of the battlefield makes it clear this urgent debate must
begin now.

***

DRCNet needs your support! Donations can be sent to 2000 P
St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036, or made by credit
card at http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html on the web.
Donations to DRCNet are not tax-deductible.

***

DRCNet

***

JOIN/MAKE A DONATION	http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html
DRUG POLICY LIBRARY	http://www.druglibrary.org/
REFORMER'S CALENDAR	http://www.drcnet.org/calendar.html
SUBSCRIBE TO THIS LIST	http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html
DRCNet HOME PAGE	http://www.drcnet.org/
STOP THE DRUG WAR SITE	http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/
-------------------------------------------------------------------

DrugSense Focus Alert Number 62 (DrugSense Also Asks You To Help Promote
Mike Gray's New Book, 'Drug Crazy')

Date: Wed, 29 Apr 1998 17:50:59 -0700
To: mgreer@mapinc.org
From: Mark Greer 
Subject: DrugSense FOCUS Alert #62

DrugSense FOCUS Alert #62

YOU can help make a reform first. "Drug Crazy" by Mike Gray could be a
"Best Seller."

MAKE A FEW PHONE CALLS - HELP CHANGE THE WORLD

In this alert we ask you to call as many local book stores as possible
to ask whether they have "Drug Crazy," When they will be able to get it,
and whether they will carry it in stock.

It's not what others do. It's what YOU do!

***

CONTACT INFO

Look in your yellow pages under "books" or "book stores". It is especially
important to contact major chains.

***

PLEASE SEND US A COPY OF YOUR LETTER OR TELL US WHAT YOU DID ( Letter,
Phone, fax etc.)

Please post your letters or report your action to the MAPTalk list if you
are subscribed, or return a copy to this address by simply hitting
REPLY to this FOCUS Alert or emailing to MGreer@mapinc.org

***

We have a superb opportunity to launch a best selling book which will be
reviewed by all of the major periodicals and will be the subject of tv and
radio talk shows PROVIDED all of us lend our support at this critical
juncture.

Drug Crazy by Michael Gray will be available at book stores by the middle
of June and it has already been pitched by the Random House sales force to
the book store chains and stores throughout the nation.

It is urgently important that those book stores begin to receive inquiries
now so that they stock up with a number of copies. We and others will be
supporting Drug Crazy with an unprecedented publicity and advertising
campaign for a book on drug policy reform. But if there are no copies in
the book store when the Drug Sense is released and our campaign hits, much
of our efforts will be no avail.

Furthermore word of strong early interest will filter back to the editors
of periodicals and encourage them to review Drug Crazy.

Many of you have had a chance to read the galley. I have yet to encounter
any reader who wasn't enthusiastic about its release. Mike Gray has
presented the reform messages in a dramatic manner which will entrance
almost anyone with high school reading ability on up.

Please publish in your own way the following message as often as possible
to your readers: Inquire at your book stores as to when Drug Crazy by Mike
Gray and published by Random House will be available so that the book
stores will be encouraged to order many copies for their shelves.

Also please prepare to release your own book review in June. If you would
like, Kevin Zeese can make his review available to you either as a basis
for your own work or for publication.

I believe history will show that 1998 was the year when our movement moved
from a defensive posture to the offense in many different areas. Drug
Crazy is one of the best weapons we have. Let's use it.

Thank you.

Robert E. Field, Common Sense for Drug Policy

Mark Greer
Media Awareness Project (MAP) inc.
d/b/a DrugSense
MGreer@mapinc.org
http://www.DrugSense.org/
http://www.mapinc.org
-------------------------------------------------------------------

New Discussion Web (Longtime Marijuana-Law Reform Activist Carl Olsen
Has Launched An Online Rastafari Discussion Forum)

Date: Wed, 29 Apr 1998 20:10:45 -0500
To: carl@commonlink.net
From: "Carl E. Olsen" 
Subject: New discussion web

I've got the RASTAFARI discussion web up and running again. However, all
the previous content seems to have been destroyed, so it's fairly empty
now. The URL is:

http://olsen.drugtext.nl/jah/

Sincerely,
Carl Olsen
-------------------------------------------------------------------

High Court Hands Judges More Say In Drug Cases ('Washington Post' Version
Of Yesterday's Supreme Court Decision In 'San Jose Mercury News')

Date: Thu, 30 Apr 1998 01:45:46 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Melodi Cornett 
Subject: MN: US: High Court Hands Judges More Say In Drug Cases
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Pubdate: Wed, 29 Apr 1998
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/
Author: Joan Biskupic, Washington Post

HIGH COURT HANDS JUDGES MORE SAY IN DRUG CASES

At issue: When both powder, rock cocaine are involved, can sentence be based
on harsher crack penalties?

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave federal judges more
authority to set prison sentences in cocaine-trafficking cases.

In a unanimous decision, the justices ruled that when a jury convicts a
defendant of conspiring to violate federal drug laws, it falls to the judge
to decide whether to base the sentence on powdered or crack cocaine if both
forms of the drug were used in the crime. This can make a big difference in
a defendant's sentence because crack crimes get stiffer punishment than
powdered-cocaine crimes.

The disparity in sentencing for powder and crack remains a contentious issue
in the courts, in Congress and among prisoners and their advocates.
Sentences are based largely on the weight of the drugs involved, and under
current law, crack dealers get the same prison time as people who sell 100
times the amount of cocaine powder.

The U.S. Sentencing Commission in 1995 proposed making the sentences for the
two types of cocaine equal. But Congress rejected the proposal, with some
members saying the disparity is justified by the violence accompanying some
crack use.

The Clinton administration has favored narrowing the different penalties (to
a 10-1 ratio) but has opposed full equalization.

Tuesday's ruling focused on the appeal of five Rockford, Ill., gang members
who were found guilty of conspiring to sell drugs and received prison
sentences ranging from 10 years to life.

The trial judge had told the jury that it could find the men guilty of an
illegal conspiracy if it believed they were involved with either powdered
cocaine or crack. Then, when the judge sentenced the men, he based the
prison time on both cocaine and crack.

The defendants argued that the judge should not have found that crack was
involved in the conspiracy. They said when a jury issues a verdict in a
multi-drug conspiracy, the judge must sentence a defendant for the drug
carrying the lesser punishment or hold a new hearing on specific drug
charges. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled against the men.

In its decision affirming the lower court Tuesday, the Supreme Court said
federal law allows judges to determine which drugs were involved in
ambiguous cases.

``The Sentencing Guidelines instruct the judge in a case like this one to
determine both the amount and the kind of `controlled substances' for which
a defendant should be held accountable -- and then to impose a sentence that
varies depending upon amount and kind,'' Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for
the court in Edwards vs. United States.

In a separate case Tuesday, the justices heard oral arguments on whether
state prisoners are covered by the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Pennsylvania officials, backed by numerous states, are contending that the
sweeping disabilities law is ambiguous about the scope of its coverage and
that states have authority to decide their criminal codes and rules of
punishments.

But it appeared from the justices' questions Tuesday that they believe the
law offers broad protection to people with disabilities in public facilities
and programs.

The case involves a state prisoner with a history of hypertension whose
illness caused the state to say he couldn't participate in a boot camp
offered as an alternative to confinement. A ruling in Pennsylvania
Department of Corrections vs. Yeskey is likely to be handed down before the
court recesses this summer.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Surgeon General Attends To Health ('USA Today' Talks To Dr. David Satcher
About Why A Smaller Proportion Of Minority Teens Smoke Than Other Teens,
His Role In Helping Legislate New Tobacco Policy, AIDS Prevention,
Gun Violence, Alcohol And 'Narcotics' Abuse - And Even The New Drug Viagra)

Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 22:11:26 -0400
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Surgeon General Attends To Health
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Mark P. McNamara
Source: USA TODAY
Author: Jessica Lee of USA TODAY
Pubdate: 29 April 1998
Contact: editor@usatoday.com
Website: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nfront.htm

SURGEON GENERAL ATTENDS TO HEALTH

After 10 weeks as U.S. surgeon general, a job that has become a political
lightning rod, David Satcher focused his first report as the nation's top
doctor on tobacco use among minorities. But Satcher insists that he'll have
little role in the coming political battle over whether to pass a sweeping
tobacco bill.

He says his fight is to keep the public health risks of tobacco use and
other unhealthy lifestyle choices before the public.

Until his Feb. 13 confirmation, Satcher, 57, was director of the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A physician and scientist,
Satcher received medical and doctoral degrees from Case Western Reserve
University in Cleveland. He also served as president of Meharry Medical
College in Nashville.

In an interview with Jessica Lee of USA TODAY, Satcher discusses smoking,
AIDS prevention, gun violence, alcohol and narcotics abuse - and even the
new drug Viagra.

Q: Why are smoking rates among minority youths rising more sharply than
those among white teen-agers?

A: They (minority youths) still smoke less than whites. We don't claim to
know why. One of the conclusions in the report is that there is no single
reason. Obviously we know that advertisement and promotion have a role. We
also know there's a disproportionate impact of advertisements on minority
communities. We say it's known to be a major factor, but it's not the only
factor.

Q: Will counteradvertising be where you try to make the biggest impact on
reducing teen smoking?

A: As surgeon general, most of my efforts are going to be on prevention, in
terms of working with individuals and families. I support the push to
reduce the appeal and the access of tobacco to youth very strongly. But the
major thrust of the surgeon general will be promoting healthy lifestyles
for children and families.

Q: Are you going be part of the administration's lobbying effort to get
Congress to pass a tobacco bill?

A: Our role is to make sure we put into clear perspective the public health
aspects of smoking, some of the causes, risk factors, results, some of the
things that tend to work in terms of helping people quit.

Q: But the smoking debate is at the political stage now. What will your
role be?

A: When people do political things, they also need input about the public
health effects. They don't ask me to come up and talk about politics. They
ask me to talk about the public health.

Q: Tobacco companies are talking about freedom of choice. How will you
respond to that?

A: The public health response is that every day in this country 3,000 new
teen-agers become smokers. More important than that, 80% of new smokers
begin smoking before they are 18 years of age. So most people who become
addicted to tobacco become addicted before they are old enough legally to
purchase cigarettes.

So obviously we need to do anything we can do to reduce the appeal of
tobacco to teen-agers and the access. If it's illegal to purchase tobacco,
then we have to make sure that we work to help see that's enforced, because
when people become addicted to nicotine, it is not easy to quit. Seventy
percent of people who smoke would like to quit. Yet every year only 2.5% of
them are able to quit.

Q: Some in Congress say there is more trouble with illegal drugs such as
marijuana than with legal tobacco and that more federal funds should be
devoted to eradicating drug abuse than tobacco use. How do you respond?

A: Marijuana is illegal and dangerous and wrong. That's the message we have
to send to teen-agers. There are a lot of things about marijuana that we
don't know yet. It's wrong. Tobacco is not illegal, but it's illegal to
sell tobacco to teen-agers. Therefore, there is illegality in the market.
We hope that the FDA will be able to regulate it so it will be illegal to
market to teen-agers, too. But teen-agers need to know that tobacco is a
very dangerous drug. It is as addictive as cocaine, if not more so.

Q: What about efforts to control alcohol use compared with those to control
tobacco?

A: Alcohol use, especially by children and youth, is very dangerous. There
are many concerns we have about the role of alcohol in violence, the role
of alcohol in indiscreet, inappropriate sexual behavior, the role of
alcohol in motor vehicle crashes and other unintentional injuries.

Q: On needle exchanges to reduce the transmission of HIV (the AIDS virus),
is that issue dead now that the president has decided not to use federal
funding?

A: The first battle was to get a clear message out about what the science
says about needle-exchange programs. And we did that. We clearly said that
based on scientific studies, it is very clear that needle-exchange programs
done properly in the context of a comprehensive prevention program can
reduce the spread of this virus.

No. 2, there's no evidence that in the process needle-exchange programs
increased the use of drugs or encouraged the use of drugs. That message is
very important to people in communities throughout this country. Regardless
of what the federal government does about funding, that message helps local
communities. In some cases it helps them to get state funds. In other cases
it helps them to get private funds. But it gives them credibility because
they now have a clear message about what the science says.

So we're going to continue to spread the message. We have to educate people
about injection drug use. We don't make decisions about the federal
funding. Our role as scientists is to do what we did.

Q: You've said teen pregnancy, violence and drug abuse will be your
priorities. This week we've seen a 4-year-old shoot a 6-year-old. Is there
some special campaign you'll press against gun violence?

A: First, let me make sure you know what I mean when I say violence is a
public health problem. I mean that violence is preventable and that it is
susceptible to the public health approach. Clearly, the ease of access to
guns to children, unsupervised access, is a major concern. I know that this
has been politicized.

The Centers for Disease Control had money taken away from it because the
(National Rifle Association) said we were pushing gun control when we
really were trying to talk about the public health approach. We stand by
that. Even before Jonesboro, (Ark., where four middle-school students and a
teacher were fatally shot March 24) we stood by it.

I think it is unfortunate that we do not take seriously the responsibility
that goes with having a gun in this country. And I don't want you to
politicize it.

Q: What do you think of this drug Viagra?

A: Obviously, the problem of impotence is real for many couples. We have to
help people deal with that. There are various ways to do that. It seems
like for many men this new drug, and I think it's still early, has been
effective. There's some question about whether it's not also effective for
women. . . .

We're learning more about this drug Viagra. We're getting great testimonies
from men about how great it works. Sexual relationship is a very important
part of the relationship between men and women, especially in the context
of marriage. Ann Landers put it best: After all these years and all our
discussions, what we forget is that probably the most important sexual
organ is the brain.

Q: What's your best experience of the 10 weeks as surgeon general?

A: The most positive experience has been the response of people to having a
surgeon general. It's just been overwhelming. I have thousands of
invitations to speak from all 50 states and several countries outside the
United States. I get a lot of letters from people raising concerns with me.

Q: What's the hardest test you've faced as surgeon general?

A: The most challenging thing has been to try to maintain the integrity of
the office of the surgeon general. I think the independence of that office
relates to the fact that you have this direct communication with the
American people and the fact that the American people rely on the surgeon
general to bring them the best science and to tell them the truth. I don't
want to stay away from political issues; I just don't want my tenure to be
defined by politics. I want people to be able to look to me for good
science and health advice.

(c)COPYRIGHT 1998 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

It's Time We Declared Failure And Learned To Live With Drug Addiction
('Vancouver Echo' Columnist Kevin Potvin Says Instead Of Chasing
The Elusive Goal Of Wiping Out Hard Drug Use, If We Turned Our Attention
To Reducing The Impact Drug Addicts Have On Our Lives,
Then We Might See Some Result For All Our Energy And Money)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Canada: Editorial: It's time we learned to live with addiction
Date: Sat, 02 May 1998 11:44:13 -0700
Lines: 78
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: Vancouver Echo
Contact: rshore@vanecho.com
Pubdate: April 29, 1998
Section: Kevin Potvin's Second Thoughts

It's time we declared failure and learned to live with drug addiction

Sure would be nice if there were no drug addicts. Then we could get
on with our lives, couldn't we, liberated from the paralyzing terror
of encountering one, or worse, happening across one of their discarded
needles.

Unfortunately, the outlook is grim. It doesn't appear as though drug
addicts are about to go away. Virtually every city in the whole world
has them, and every city has tried a vast array of proposed solutions
to make them go away. All failed. Edinburgh, Scotland, New York City,
Karachi, Pakistan, Johannesburg, South Africa, Sydney, Australia,
Berkeley, California, Lima, Peru, Paris, France, all have failed just
as Vancouver has. Hard drug addicts are as fixed a feature of big city
life as traffic accidents and prostitution.

It's not fatalistic to suggest we learn to accept reality and give up
the impossible project of ridding the city of addicts. It is merely
smart pragmatism. Instead of chasing the elusive goal of wiping out
hard drug use, if we turned our attention to reducing the impact drug
addicts have on our lives, then we might see some result for all our
energy and money. After all, the act of the addict injecting hard
drugs does not in itself cause a great deal of trouble for anyone but
the user. While it's laudable to be concerned with the
self-destruction hard drugs bring to the user, it is hardly the plight
of the addict's life that has everyone in such an uproar. What has
everyone shouting mad are not the acts of addiction itself, but rather
the surrounding effects on a community in which the addict is seeking
to acquire and use the drugs.

The concerns of the community are limited and can be easily listed:
theft from cars and stores and breaking and entering into homes by
users seeking valuable goods to steal and sell for the money required
to purchase drugs, and the reckless discarding of used needles in
parks and alleys that may well be contaminated with HIV-positive
blood.

Solutions to these problems are well known. By providing through some
institution free drugs, the addict no longer needs to steal to buy
them. And by providing a safe place where users can acquire, use, and
then discard their needles, there would virtually be no more needles
found in any parks or alleys. These are the only solutions to the
problems that truly affect the community. Nothing else will work.

But there's a huge catch. It means we have to accept the fact there
will always be a certain percentage of the population experimenting
with and becoming addicted to hard drugs. It means we have to live
with the knowledge that there may be some people who would not
otherwise have encountered hard drugs were it not for their free
distribution, and who thereby may become inadvertently affected by
them. It means we have to put aside our moral judgments about those
who choose to use hard drugs, and instead blinker ourselves in order
to deal only with the problems drug addicts cause. In other words, it
means that this may be a rare instance in matters of public policy
where it might be more prudent to treat the symptoms and ignore the
disease.

I don't like to see anyone injecting heroin or cocaine and I'd be very
happy if it all stopped tomorrow. But given that no one on the face of
the planet has yet devised a method to bring that about, we might as
well get past the unsavory reality and learn to accommodate it in our
lives. Drug addicts are a fact of life. But the troubles they cause,
the break-ins, the theft, the discarded needles, are not facts of life
and are things we can do a great deal about to stop, virtually
overnight.

Would the supply of free drugs and a safe place to use them create the
impression that we condone and encourage drug use? Maybe. But for
those who are curious, I would rather they find drugs at a safe place
where there are people concerned to control and reduce the supply,
rather than on the street, where there is only the concern for
increased usage and bigger illicit profits.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Hellawell's Report Online (List Subscriber Posts URL With Complete Text
Of The Drugs Tsar's New Report, 'Tackling Drugs To Build A Better Britain')

To: ukcia-l@mimir.com
From: webbooks@paston.co.uk (CLCIA)
Subject: Hallawell's Report on-line
Date: Wed, 29 Apr 1998 23:31:17 +0100

"Tackling Drugs to Build a Better Britain" including Hallawell's Report and
the rest of the White Paper is at

http://www.official-documents.co.uk/document/cm39/3945/3945.htm

Don't miss out!

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***

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***

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54C Peacock Street, Norwich, Norfolk, NR3 1TB, England.
Campaigners' Guide : http://www.paston.co.uk/users/webbooks/index.html
CLCIA : http://www.foobar.co.uk/users/ukcia/groups/clcia/clcia.html
e-mail : webbooks@paston.co.uk Tel : +44 (0)1603 625780
"The use of cannabis ought to be a matter of choice, not of law."

***

The drugtext press list.
News on substance use related issues, drugs and drug policy
webmaster@drugtext.nl
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Drugs White Paper Gives Wrong Signal (Letter To Editor Of Britain's
'Daily Telegraph' From A Man Who Sought Keith Hellawell's Job
Says 'The Culture Of Harm Reduction And Support For Addicts
Does Support The Drugs Use And Does Harm Society')

Date: Sat, 02 May 1998 16:01:25 -0400
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: UK: LTE: Drugs White Paper Gives Wrong Signal
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: webbooks@paston.co.uk (CLCIA)
Pubdate: Wed, 29 Apr 1998
Source : Daily Telegraph
Contact : dtletters@telegraph.co.uk
Fax : +44 (0)171 538 5000

Drugs White Paper Gives Wrong Signal

SIR - As somebody who applied but did not get the post of "drugs tsar",
despite my experience and qualifications, I would like to point out that
the White Paper's proposals (report, April 28) will have little or no
effect on the drugs problem. Its 10-tear "realistic strategy" is tantamount
to accepting that, like the pie-in-the-shy health targets, the Government
does not expect to solve the problem at all.

Compulsory education for children but non-compulsory treatment centres,
funded by seizures from drugs criminals, will not be effective and will do
nothing to change the drugs culture amongst young people.

Similar education has failed abysmally in stopping teenagers from smoking
or from under-age sexual activity. It is sentimentally appealing,
expensive, time-consuming, and highly likely to convey the wrong message.

I have never heard a drugs worker telling children that drug users are sad,
bad and dangerous for society. I have heard many counsellors with the
message that if you intend to use drugs, use safe drugs and clean needles,
which, incidentally, you can obtain from the local drugs centre.

What use are new drug treatment centres when we treat thousands of users by
issuing them with methadone, amphetamines, needles and syringes? The
culture of harm reduction and support for addicts does support the drugs
use and does harm society. Treatment centres with the wrong approach can
spend months using ineffective counselling rather than the four or five
days needed to detoxify an addict in compulsory detention and with the use
of drugs such as Britaflex.

The drugs industry will now include counsellors and educators, al committed
but none truly effective, and the human misery will continue until we
approach the problem differently. Until there is a wide-spread
condemnation of users, Draconian punishments for traders and a culture
which does not condone the promotion of drugs by pop media, and until all
those who seek more liberal drug laws cease their striving, we will remain
powerless to stop this plague.

Having a "drugs tsar" and producing White Papers is merely part of a cruel
deception that curative action is being taken when all concerned know that
none is to be achieved.

Dr Adrian Rogers
Exeter
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Reformists Aware Of Plight Facing Addicts Families (Letter To Editor
Of Britain's 'Evening News' Notes The Situation We Are In Now
Has Arisen Under Prohibition - Prohibition Means That The Supply Of Drugs
Is In Criminal Hands)

From: "Rolf Ernst" 
To: "MN" 
Subject: MN: UK: PUB LTE: Reformists Aware Of Plight Facing Addicts Families
Date: Sat, 2 May 1998 07:26:19 -0500
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: webbooks@paston.co.uk (CLCIA)
Pubdate: Wed, 29 Apr 1998
Source: Evening News (Norwich UK)
Contact: EveningNewsLetters@ecn.co.uk
Author: Alan Buffry

REFORMISTS AWARE OF PLIGHT FACING ADDICTS FAMILIES

The letter "What about addicts' families?" (EN, April 22) correctly states
that addicts' families are victims of the drugs problem along with those who
suffer from theft, burglary etc.

However, the writer seems to think that drug law reformists are either
ignorant or unconcerned about these problems.

In fact, most reformists know only too well the problems that so many face
due to illegal drug use and the associated crime, especially when its one of
one's own family.

That's why we want legalisation! The situation we are now in has arisen
under prohibition.

Prohibition means that the supply of drugs is in criminal hands.

That means dubious quality and uncertain strength and roof-high prices.

Poor quality can mean death. High prices mean high crime rates so that the
addicts can get the money.

The profits go to the criminals and the rest of us have to pay!

Legalisation means a legitimate and controllable supply, the drugs can be
supplied at a fraction of the illegal market prices, quality can be assured.

The result - less crime to get the money and less deaths from impurities.

Addicts would not need to create new addicts to pay for their own habits.
Users would be identifiable and offered help.

Less crime, less suffering, less misery for the families. Also fewer
prisoners. Nobody wants to see this heroin epidemic as it is called, spread
further.

One thing is sure - prohibition has failed to stop drugs problems.

The only alternative to an illegal supply is a legal one. The real problem
is making the politicians listen!

Alun Buffry
-------------------------------------------------------------------

DrugSense Weekly, Number 44 (Summary Of Drug Policy News For Activists,
Including Original And Excellent Commentary Such As The Feature Article
On 'Human Rights And The Drug War,' An Exhibit
Opening At The San Francisco Public Library)

Date: Thu, 30 Apr 1998 06:56:02 -0700
To: mgreer@mapinc.org
From: Mark Greer 
Subject: DrugSense Weekly April 29, 1998 #044

***

DRUGSENSE WEEKLY

***

DrugSense Weekly April 29, 1998 #044

A DrugSense publication

http://www.drugsense.org/

***

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

* Feature Article
by Mikki Bach Human Rights and the Drug War (aka HR 95)

* Weekly News In Review

GENERAL COMMENT:

This week's domestic news was dominated by needle exchange,
but several important policy wrinkles were also introduced and
medical marijuana continues to be an important issue.

On the international scene, the contributions of US drug policy to
human misery are legion- we seem be inflicting damage everywhere
in the name of our holy war to preserve the criminal drug market.

Needle Exchange

	I was wrong! Needle-exchange programs work

	Washington Post Editorial: Clean Needles, No Money

	OPED - Clinton Spineless on Needle Funds

	Gingrich Blasts Clinton Needle Exchange Stance

	Needle-Funding Refusal Disappoints Satcher

	Clean Needles May Be Bad Medicine

	HIV's Spread Is Unchecked AIDS-Slowing Treatments

	Soros - $1 Million Pledged for Needle Exchanges

Medical Marijuana-

	Legal Hassles Extinguishing Pot Clubs

	San Francisco marijuana club reopens peacefully to cheers

	Let Health Workers Distribute Pot

US Drug Policy-

	Republicans Plan Major Campaign for Drug-Free America

	Drug Sting Tactics Helped 'Poison the Public,' Judge Says

	Patch That Might Keep Tabs on Drug Use Will Be Tested in Phila.

International News-

	Nice Guys Finish Dead - review of 'Twilight on the Line'

	Switzerland: Wire: $132 Million Traced To Swiss In Salinas Case

	Mexico - Lawyer in Drug Case Gunned Down

	Russia - Eastern Europe New AIDS Region, Report Says

	Peru - U.S. Teaches Peru To Plug River Of Drugs

	Wire - Coca, Poppy Killer May Harm Amazon

* Hot Off The 'Net

* DrugSense Tip Of The Week

* Quote of the week

***

FEATURE ARTICLE

For six weeks beginning May 7, The San Francisco Public Library will
host "Human Rights and the Drug War," a powerful exhibit using
photographs of 100 current prisoners and their families to put a human
face on policy.

The exhibit coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the UN Declaration of
Human Rights, a document intended to set a standard for the policies of
all nations. In practice, human rights abuses have largely been
considered to be an exclusive problem of Second and Third World nations,
with the Western Democracies, particularly the United States assumed
exempt from consideration. If that assumption is set aside, the war on
drugs is found to be a source of serious human rights abuse within our
own borders:

Article 5: "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment." The Eighth Amendment to US
Constitution also forbids cruel and unusual punishment, including
excessive bail and fines.

US drug policy requires Draconian mandatory sentences disproportionate
to the offense. Federal mandatory minimums sentence first-time
nonviolent drug offenders to terms from five years to life without
parole- longer terms than violent criminals convicted of murder, rape or
robbery (who retain eligibility for parole).

Article 10: "Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public
hearing by an in dependent and impartial tribunal, in the determination
of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him."
The US Constitution also guarantees a jury trial for both criminal
(Sixth Amendment) and non-trivial civil suits (Seventh Amendment).

Sentencing guidelines and mandatory minimum laws tie judges hands; the
nature of drug "crime" dictates that physical evidence be replaced by
hearsay testimony; charges of "conspiracy," in which each person is
liable for the entire offense regardless of involvement, favor plea
bargaining over public trial.

Recent Supreme Court interpretation of civil asset forfeiture law allows
one's life savings to be seized without charge of a crime; property
under $500,000 can be forfeited administratively through summary
judgment without judicial proceedings or jury trial. An accused, thus
impoverished on the eve of his criminal trial may be unable to afford a
lawyer. (161)

Article 12: "No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with
his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his
honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the
law against such interference or attacks." The US Fourth Amendment
protects people from "unreasonable searches and seizures" by requiring
that "no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause supported by Oath
or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched,
and the persons or things to be seized."

Zealous drug policy enforcement has increasingly caused US citizens to
suffer loss of privacy: phone taps, urine testing, computer, garbage and
mail searches, searches of bank records and utility bills- even
infra-red scanning of dwellings. Employees are subject to random drug
testing without probable cause or warrant. There are police drug sweeps
of neighborhoods which block public roadways and detain search people
and vehicles with dogs.

Fitting a "profile' stereotype such as racial or ethnic appearance, hair
length, auto bumper stickers, etc. may single one out for harassment.
Possession of $100 cash may be reason for police seizure as suspected
drug income. Buying garden supplies from a store under police
surveillance has led to a home search. "Drug" warrants are issued on
hearsay evidence and served with battering rams. (216)

Article 16.3: "The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of
society and is entitled to protection by society and the state." The US
Fourth Amendment lists "The right of the people to be secure in their
persons, houses, papers, and effects."

Families are major casualties of the Drug War. Children are traumatized
by seeing their parents handcuffed face down on the floor while angry,
armed men in dark suits brandish weapons and tear up the house. They are
also injured when the family car, home, and bank accounts are taken, or
when parents are sent to prison for decades. They are also How do
parents support a family from prison, financially or emotionally? How
can an inner city community survive with a third of its adult male
population stigmatized by a criminal record? (131)

by Mikki Bach
Human Rights and the Drug War (aka HR 95)
http://www.hr95.org/
PO Box 1716, El Cerrito CA 94530.

***

WEEKLY NEWS IN REVIEW

***

Needle Exchange

***

COMMENT:

After years of stonewalling, federal officials finally accepted solid
evidence that needle exchange reduces spread of HIV without increasing
drug use to the point where HHS Secretary Shalala was forced to endorse
it in principle.

However, fear of a conservative backlash prevented the Administration
from also approving use of federal funds. This ambivalence was
excoriated by both sides and, far from putting the issue to rest, may
guarantee continued interest in it for a long time.

Soros' money will help existing programs and the reluctant federal
endorsement should help to start new ones. Those considerations, plus
the ongoing opportunity for criticism of policy add up to a net plus for
reform, especially since federal funding would probably have been
accompanied by self-defeating regulatory strictures anyway.

I WAS WRONG! NEEDLE-EXCHANGE PROGRAMS WORK

Sooner or later, anyone who makes a living offering up opinions gets
asked the same question: ''Have you ever changed your mind?'' After the
ink is dry, after the column is sent into the electronic ozone, have you
ever disagreed with you? There must be so me primal anxiety behind this
frequent inquiry. I suppose people all share a high school nightmare of
being exposed, seen mentally unzipped, caught changing our minds in
public. But since the only way to avoid changing a mind is by closing
that mind, it happens. Today I disagree with me, or rather with the me
that once opposed needle-exchange programs.

[snip]

Source: Boston Globe ( MA)
Contact: letters@globe.com
Website: http://www.boston.com/globe/
Pubdate: April 23, 1998
Author: Ellen Goodman
http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n300.a04.html

***

CLEAN NEEDLES, NO MONEY

CLINTON'S latest policy response to a national epidemic -- the spread of
AIDS among intravenous drug users -- is little more than a political
fix. In one breath, the administration is declaring that needle-exchange
programs do help curb the spread of AIDS -- but that no federal funds
should be spent on this approach.

This half-and-half solution, intended to resolve internal policy
disagreements among the president's advisers, puts politics ahead of
public health.

[snip]

Source: Washington Post
Contact:http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm
Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
Pubdate: Thu, 23 Apr 1998
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n297.a08.html

***

CLINTON SPINELESS ON NEEDLE FUNDS

IT IS tempting to blame the Paula Jones scandal for Bill Clinton's
cowardice, but it wouldn't be fair. Clinton has always been a coward.

Clinton's gutless refusal to fund programs that save lives by providing
clean needles to drug addicts was not an inevitable result of a weakened
presidency. Even if Clinton were not hounded by charges of sexual
misconduct, he would be an unlikely savior of poor heroin addicts. They
don't have the money to make campaign contributions and they don't have
the demographics the president's pollsters like to see.

[snip]

Source: San Francisco Chronicle ( CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Pubdate: Sat, 25 Apr 1998
Author: Cynthia Tucker
http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n301.a11.html

***

GINGRICH BLASTS CLINTON NEEDLE EXCHANGE STANCE

THIS WEEK, House Speaker Newt Gingrich and other top Republicans blasted
President Clinton for endorsing needle exchange programs to prevent AIDS
among drug users, even though Clinton will not allow federal funds for
such programs. "What's a little heroin or cocaine among friends?"
Gingrich said sarcastically at a news conference in which he lambasted
Clinton on drugs and teen smoking, Reuters news service reported.
"There's no such thing as a healthy heroin addict."

[snip]

Source: San Francisco Examiner
Contact: letters@examiner.com
Website: http://www.examiner.com/
Pubdate: Wed, 22 Apr 1998
Author: Lisa M. Krieger of the Examiner Staff
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n296.a01.html

***

NEEDLE-FUNDING REFUSAL DISAPPOINTS SATCHER

The surgeon general says he wishes the decision had been made without
the political overtones.

Washington-The nation's new surgeon general said Friday the he is
disappointed as a scientist by the Clinton administration's decision to
bar federal funding for AIDS-fighting programs that give clean needles
to drug users.

[snip]

Source: Orange County Register ( CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Pubdate: Sat, 25 Apr 1998
Author: Laura Meckler - The Associated Press
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n302.a01.html

***

CLEAN NEEDLES MAY BE BAD MEDICINE

The Clinton administration on Monday endorsed the practice of giving
clean needles to drug addicts in order to prevent transmission of the
AIDS virus. "A meticulous scientific review has now proven that
needle-exchange programs can reduce the transmission of HIV and save
lives without loosing ground on the battle against illegal drugs,"
Secretary of Health and Human Services announced.

The administration is not unanimous, however; the drug czar, Gen. Barry
McCaffrey, who opposes needle exchange, was out of the country Monday.
Who's right? As recently as a month ago, HHS had resisted
needle-exchange programs. "We have not yet concluded that needle
exchange programs do not encourage drug use." spokeswoman Melissa
Skolfield told the Washington Post March 17. By Monday the department
had reached that conclusion, though the scientific evidence that needle
exchanges don't encourage drug use is as weak today as it was a month
ago.

[snip]

Source: The Wall Street Journal
Pubdate: Wed, 22 April 1998
Contact: editors@interactive.wsj.com
Website: http://www.wsj.com/
Author: David Murray,
Director of Research for the Statistical Assessment
Service, a nonprofit group in Washington.
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n301.a12.html

***

HIV'S SPREAD IS UNCHECKED AIDS-SLOWING TREATMENTS

Eclipse Rising Infection Rate, Study Says

Although the number of new AIDS cases in the United States has declined
substantially in recent years, HIV continues to spread through the
population essentially unabated, according to data released yesterday by
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The first direct assessment of HIV infection trends shows that the
recent decline in U.S. AIDS cases is not due to a notable drop in new
infections. Rather, improved medical treatments are allowing infected
people to stay healthy longer before coming down with AIDS,
overshadowing the reality of an increasingly infected populace.

[snip]

Source: Orange County Register ( CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Pubdate: Sat, 25 Apr 1998
Author: Laura Meckler - The Associated Press
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n302.a01.html

***

$1 MILLION PLEDGED FOR NEEDLE EXCHANGES

A billionaire financier offered $1 million on a matching basis Thursday
to finance the distribution of clean needles to addicts who inject
illegal drugs. The money pledged by the financier, George Soros, would
go to match increases by other philanthropists and private foundations
for what Soros called "these lifesaving programs."

Soros announced last August that he was making another $1 million
directly available for needle-exchange programs.

Explaining his decision at the time, he said: "Very few politicians dare
to stand up. If they touch the issue, it's like touching a third rail."

[snip]

Source: New York Times ( NY)
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Pubdate: April 24, 1998
Author: Christopher Wren

***

Medical Marijuana

COMMENT:

The Chronicle article is a sad recapitulation of the carnage wreaked
upon medical marijuana programs in the past few months. The reopening of
the San Francisco club demonstrates the importance of friendly local
officials, a point underscored by DA Hallinan's Op-Ed.

LEGAL HASSLES EXTINGUISHING POT CLUBS

Prop. 215's weak wording doesn't sway cops, agents

Less than 18 months after medical marijuana use was legalized in
California by Proposition 215, the network of marijuana clubs, co-ops
and dispensaries that arose to deliver pot to patients is collapsing.

Of 18 medical marijuana providers operating openly seven months ago, six
are out of business and five are facing closure due to criminal or civil
lawsuits. The remaining seven groups are still open and not facing legal
trouble, but there is constant worry that the next knock on the door
could be federal drug agents.

[snip]

Source: San Francisco Chronicle ( CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Pubdate: Thu, 23 Apr 1998
Author: Maria Alicia Guara, Chronicle Staff Writer
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n297.a03.html

***

SAN FRANCISCO MARIJUANA CLUB REOPENS PEACEFULLY TO CHEERS

SAN FRANCISCO -- A San Francisco marijuana club reopened under another
name yesterday just a day after a court order shut down its predecessor.

About 40 patients and supporters cheered as Wayne Justmann, head of
security for the new Cannabis Healing Center, unlocked the front door.

[snip]

Source: Standard-Times ( MA)
Contact: YourView@S-T.com
Website: http://www.s-t.com/
Pubdate: Wed, 22 Apr 1998
Author: Richard Cole, Associated Press writer
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n296.a11.html

***

LET HEALTH WORKERS DISTRIBUTE POT

By Terence Hallinan

THE RECENT SHUTDOWN of San Francisco's Cannabis Cultivators Club and its
reopening under new leadership closed a chapter in the continuing debate
over medical marijuana. Broader legal questions about the clubs remain.

State and federal efforts to close six medical marijuana cooperatives in
California have raised the thorny question of who should be responsible
for distributing medical marijuana to sick patients if the clubs are
permanently shut down. Recently, when 1 suggested city health workers
may be called on to do the job in San Francisco, I did not make the
statement lightly.

[snip]

Source: San Francisco Chronicle
Pubdate: April 27, 1998
Website: www.sfgate.com
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n309.a03.html

***

Drug Policy

***

COMMENT:

The GOP pursuit of a "drug free" America, led by Newt is good news for
us. If the public can't understand that the drug war is an inhumane
folly in the light of other developments, it probably never will. It's
also to be expected that the most ardent prohibitionists will feel most
threatened by perception that reform is gaining ground, and will react
accordingly.

The other items simply confirm the willingness of drug warriors to
embrace any strategy, no matter how destructive of the environment,
threatening to the public, or invasive of privacy, in their desire to
control human behavior.

REPUBLICANS PLAN MAJOR CAMPAIGN FOR DRUG-FREE AMERICA

WASHINGTON -- House Republicans are preparing to launch a highly
publicized election-year initiative to bring about a drug-free America.

In an event planned for next week and to be staged like the House GOP's
mass 1994 signing of its Contract With America, more than 100 House
Republicans are expected to endorse a dozen wide-ranging anti-drug bills.

One bill calls for doubling the Border Patrol to 20,000 and restoring
controversial military patrols along the U.S.-Mexico border.

House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., formed the Speaker's Task Force for
a Drug-Free America one month ago, and it already has a comprehensive
national "battle plan" for reaching its goal within four years.

[snip]

Source: San Diego Union Tribune
Contact: letters@uniontrib.com
Website: http://www.uniontrib.com/
Pubdate: Sat, 25 Apr 1998
Author: Marcus Stern - Copley News Service
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n302.a06.html

***

DRUG STING'S TACTICS HELPED 'POISON THE PUBLIC,' JUDGE SAYS

State agents helped "poison the public" by giving drug dealers huge
amounts of the key ingredient to produce methamphetamine and failing to
recover it, a federal judge said Friday.

During a "sting" operation targeting a pair of notorious drug
manufacturing suspects in 1995, the narcotics agents committed crimes
that would justify life in prison "if they did not have badges," said
U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton.

[snip]

Source: Sacramento Bee ( CA)
Contact: opinion@sacbee.com
Website: http://www.sacbee.com/
Pubdate: Sat, 25 Apr 1998
Author: Cythnia Hubert - Bee Staff Writer
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n302.a07.html

***

PATCH THAT MIGHT KEEP TABS ON DRUG USE WILL BE TESTED IN PHILA.

The device would offer ``real-time'' data, rather than after-the-fact
screening.

Sweating it out could take on new meaning for drug users caught by the
criminal justice system.

The federal government is getting ready to field test in Philadelphia a
black watch-sized patch that is being designed to send a signal if the
wearer takes drugs. It also has the potential to relay information to
authorities about the person's whereabouts, within 150 feet.

[snip]

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer ( PA)
Contact: editpage@aol.com
Pubdate: Wed, 22 Apr 1998
Author: Marian Uhlman - Inquirer Staff Writer
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n294.a11.html

***

International News

COMMENT:

There is a symmetry in the first three articles: the book reviewed in
the first explains the huge jump in illegal drug dollars flowing into
Mexico which allowed the official corruption alluded to in the next two
news stories.

There are those who believe that the AIDS epidemic in the US will be
minor compared to what is happening in Eastern Europe and the former
Soviet Union.

The articles about Peru (riverine interdiction) and Colombia (aerial
spraying of herbicides) suggest that America has yet to learn all the
lessons of Viet Nam.

NICE GUYS FINISH DEAD a review of:

TWILIGHT ON THE LINE

Underworlds and Politics at the U.S.-Mexican Border. By Sebastian
Rotella. 320 pp. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. $25.

By Richard Rayner

EARLY in this vivid study of immigration, crime and graft at the
Mexican border, Sebastian Rotella makes the point that the headlong
growth in the l990's of the drug trade in Mexico, and in Baja
California in particular, was spurred by an American success story.
When the Drug Enforcement Administration blocked Florida as the
prime highway for cocaine, the Colombian cartels responded by
expanding their partnership with some of their old friends in
Mexico, who offered not only a network already established through
their traditional traffic in heroin and marijuana, but a long and
vulnerable land border with the United States.

The Mexican drug barons began receiving payment in cocaine instead
of cash, and the Colombians were forced to cede sales turf in
Texas, along the East Coast and especially in California itself.
"Soon the Mexican mafias were supplying 70 percent of the cocaine
consumed-yearly in the United States," Rotella writes, "were
earning between $10 billion and $30 billion a year in profits and,
according to a study by the University of Guadalajara, were
spending $500 million a year exclusively on the bribery of public
officials in Mexico. That figure was roughly double the entire
budget of the Mexican federal attorney general's office and federal
police."

[snip]

Source: New York Times ( NY)
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Pubdate: Mon, 15 Mar 1998
Author: Richard Rayner
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n300.a05.html

***

$132 MILLION TRACED TO SWISS IN SALINAS CASE

LAUSANNE, Switzerland ( AP)-- U.S. investigators have traced $132
million in Swiss banks to the brother of a former Mexican president and
say at least some of the money came from drug traffickers, according to
court documents released Friday.

Switzerland's highest court disclosed for the first time details of the
largely secret U.S. case against Raul Salinas de Gortari, the brother of
former President Carlos Salinas de Gortari.

[snip]

Pubdate: Sat, 25 Apr 1998
Source: Associated Press
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n305.a05.html

***

LAWYER IN DRUG CASE GUNNED DOWN

A former lawyer for Gen. Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo, the jailed former
leader of Mexico's anti-drug campaign, was slain late Tuesday, officials
said.

A spokesman for Jalisco State prosecutors said a gunman killed Tomas
Arturo Gonzalez Velazquez, 43, while he waited in his car at a traffic
light in Guadalajara.

[snip]

Source: Chicago Tribune ( IL)
Contact: tribletter@aol.com
Website: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/
Pubdate: Thu, 23 Apr 1998
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n297.a07.html

***

EASTERN EUROPE NEW AIDS REGION, REPORT SAYS

MOSCOW - Every minute worldwide, five people between the ages of 10 and
24 become infected with HIV, according to a report released here today.

The UNAIDS report also warned that Eastern Europe is set to become "one
of the next epicenters" of the world AIDS crisis, with HIV infection
rates having increased at least six fold since 1994.

The report said that 190,000 people in the region are infected, a
contagion rate driven by a sharp rise in the use of injected drugs.

[snip]

Pubdate: Wed, 22 Apr 1998
Source: Seattle-Times ( WA)
Contact: opinion@seatimes.com
Website: http://seattletimes.com/
Author: The Associated Press
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n294.a03.html

***

U.S. TEACHES PERU TO PLUG RIVER OF DRUGS

IQUITOS, Peru - As Seaman Walter Fitzgerald gunned his Boston Whaler
boat out into the Amazon and gently pulled alongside a floating dock as
if approaching another vessel, he kept up a steady stream of talk to his
Peruvian counterparts, explaining each step in nearly flawless Spanish.

Nearby, on land, Warrant Officer Marc Shifanelli crouched in the thick
jungle underbrush, demonstrating to a group of Peruvian police how to
conduct small-unit patrols, including how to carry their AK-47 assault
rifles, with constant reminders not to "aim at anything you don't want
to destroy."

Fitzgerald, a U.S. Navy SEAL, and Shifanelli, of the U.S. Army Special
Forces, are part of a group of 30 specialized American military
instructors implementing one of the most ambitious counterdrug programs
the Pentagon has ever undertaken in Latin America.

[snip]

Source: Seattle-Times ( WA)
Contact: opinion@seatimes.com
Website: http://seattletimes.com/
Author: Douglas Farah, The Washington Post
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n294.a02.html

***

COCA, POPPY KILLER MAY HARM AMAZON

BOGOTA, Colombia ( AP) - Deep in the jungle, a Turbo-Thrush plane swoops
to within 100 feet of a field of illegal drug crops, lets loose a cloud
of herbicide over the plants and soars skyward again before heavily
armed leftist rebels can open fire.

It has become an almost daily - if hair-raisingly dangerous - routine in
Colombia as police undertake an ambitious program to eradicate thousands
of acres of coca and poppy - the plants used to make cocaine and heroin.

Now, at the urging of the United States, Colombia is considering
switching to a more powerful, granular herbicide called tebuthiuron - a
new coca-killer that can be dropped from higher altitudes, out of range
of the gun-toting rebels guarding the crops.

[snip]

Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Thu, 23 Apr 1998
Author: Paul Haven
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n300.a02.html

***

HOT OFF THE 'NET

The Drug Policy Foundation has updated and enhanced their web page.

See: http://www.dpf.org/

It now includes the latest grant guidelines.

The "War on Drugs Clock" has been enhanced and is "ready for Primetime"

See: http://www.drugsense.org/

and click on the animated moon (indicative of lunacy). This feature
should be linked all over the Internet. It is a powerful visual display
of why we are fighting to change the status quo.

The MAP archive of published Letters to the Editor has a new feature
which keeps track of the dollar value of oor volunteer's published
letters posted on our website. We have generated both an item counter
and an estimated value.

See: http://www.mapinc.org/lte/

We display well over $500,000 in ad value and over 600 published letters
and articles to date.

***

TIP OF THE WEEK

We are trying to get as many members as possible to contact their local
bookstores to ask if they can have Mike Grays "Drug Crazy" available. If
not please ask when they will be able to order it and whether they will
stock it.

If we can get each member to call 5 bookstores we will have covered
nearly every bookstore in the country and we will have sent a powerful
message to distributors to stock this book. A reform best seller would
be a national first and would gain us some excellent media coverage.

Just do it! 5 calls takes about 15 minutes.

***

QUOTES OF THE WEEK

***

`I'M SO AFRAID -- SEEING PEOPLE'S LIVES JUST FADE'

Here are excerpts from the essays written by fifth-graders at Edward Heston
Elementary School.

When I walk the streets I see people who could have terrific lives, but
they are happier doing drugs. I'm not going to destroy my future. I can do
more with my life than killing myself with drugs. I am 10-year-old and when
I put myself in that position, I feel so sorry for them.
-- Chanel Joynes

I want drug dealing to stop because one of my friends got shot over that.
He was walking down the street and he was looking at the dealers and they
said "Get out of here, leave!" He kept looking and got shot. That's why I
want it to stop. Drugs are getting people killed. One time my brother's
friend got shot because he was working for the drug dealers and he didn't
bring back the right amount of money. He was 13 years old and I went to his
funeral.
-- Jonathan Ross

I see them every day. Where I walk and where I play. Sometimes I'm so
afraid -- seeing people's lives just fade. Drugs take you out of this world
soon. They destroy families and leave a neighborhood in ruin.
-- Tiffany Harrison

***

DS Weekly is one of the many free educational services DrugSense offers
our members. Watch this feature to learn more about what DrugSense can
do for you.

Comments-Editor: Tom O'Connell (tjeffoc@drugsense.org)
Senior-Editor: Mark Greer (mgreer@drugsense.org)

We wish to thank all our contributors and Newshawks.

NOTICE:

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is
distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest
in receiving the included information for research and educational
purposes.

REMINDER:

Please help us help reform. Send any news articles you find on any drug
related issue to editor@mapinc.org

PLEASE HELP:

DrugSense provides this service at no charge BUT IT IS NOT FREE TO PRODUCE.

We incur many costs in creating our many and varied services. If you are
able to help by contributing to the DrugSense effort please Make checks
payable to MAP Inc. send your contribution to:

The Media Awareness Project (MAP) Inc.
d/b/a DrugSense
PO Box 651
Porterville,
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(800) 266 5759
MGreer@mapinc.org
http://www.mapinc.org/
http://www.drugsense.org/

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